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Doug Skinner, Colorado Outdoors
When I was a kid, it felt as if every adult I encountered would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I still remember being puzzled and somewhat annoyed by the question. How is a 10-year old supposed to know what they want to be when they grow up? But now, I rarely hear anyone ask that question anymore. I suspect that the question has become less common as a result of a continually evolving job market. Heck, many of the jobs we hold today were not even thought of when we were children. And for millennials and generation Z, the pace of change only seems to be accelerating. Today, the question almost seems silly.

That is, until a couple of weeks ago, when my son Theo came home from school and informed me that April 26 was Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day 2018. At that moment, I realized that I had never really asked Theo, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And up until now, the only aspirations for adulthood I had heard from him were the desire to be Spiderman when he was 3, a paleontologist when he was in his dinosaur phase at age 5, and an MLS soccer star when he started playing soccer at age 6. I thought about the fact that kids can only start thinking about careers if they are exposed to the possibilities – if you’ve never seen someone working in wildlife, you may not consider it as a career path. But exposure to potential careers and career planning seemed to be relegated as a spare-time activity, not part of the 5th-grade curriculum. So any opportunity to get him started down a path of career investigation seemed like a win-win. I get to hang out with him and, at the same time, expose him to a small slice of the working world. I was in!